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Govt. probes Rs. 2,000 note design leak

The government is probing how the design of the new Rs. 2,000 note, issued as legal tender from Thursday, was leaked and circulated on social media well before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the nation announcing the demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes.

The Reserve Bank of India’s central board had taken a decision to start producing Rs. 2,000 notes several months ago, but it was kept top secret as was the Prime Minister’s decision to demonetise high-value notes taken earlier this year by keeping very few officials in the know.

However, speculation had begun on social media groups using applications such as WhatsApp about the impending launch of a new Rs. 2,000 note by the RBI. Some of these messages also included a purported image of the new currency.

“During the printing and distribution of notes from the mint to the Reserve Bank’s vaults, it is possible someone took a photograph [and posted it]. But nobody knew about this decision of demonetisation,” said a top Finance Ministry official.

“However, we are looking into how the images of the note and the launch of Rs. 2,000 notes were leaked and at what point of the chain,” the official said. “We will probe this matter,” he said.

The new notes with different designs, security features and of a smaller size than the older Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes, would be far more difficult to counterfeit, the official said. The new series of notes, called the Mahatma Gandhi series of notes, are also Braille-compliant with lines on the side that enable blind people to ascertain their denomination easily.

“Over the past weeks and months, we have ramped up our production of notes and are ready to meet the requirements in the days and weeks to come,” RBI Governor Urjit Patel had said after the demonetisation announcement by the Prime Minister on Tuesday night.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 9:52:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Govt.-probes-Rs.-2000-note-design-leak/article16442097.ece

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